Roxellana, the favourite wife of Suleiman the Magnificent.

Updated: Feb 23

Jelleymans Mill, 17th December 1879

My Dearest,

The time the Major and I were stationed at Her Britannic Majesty's Embassy in Constantinople was heady with pleasure and new experience. The 'eye' of the world: where east meets west. The last capital of the Roman Empire and seat of the Ottoman Sultans. I loved to wander through the gardens of Topkapi Sarayi enjoying the sweet scent of the tulips and the calls of the parakeets darting from tree to tree.

On a private visit to the Imperial Treasury I was privileged to be accompanied by the Sehzade (Prince) Abdul Hamid; later to become the last Sultan to hold complete power over the Ottoman Empire. Amidst the glories of the treasury the Sehzade directed my attention to a collection of emeralds as large as Plover’s eggs, set into silver earrings, and a tiara of overwhelming beauty. The Sehzade explained that these jewels had been gifted to Roxellana, the favourite wife of Suleiman the Magnificent.

Roxellana, he explained, was a Ukranian girl kidnapped by the Crimean Tartars and was sold into slavery, eventually finding her way to Constantinople and the harem of the Sultan.

The Sehzade gestured to a eunuch to remove the jewels from the display cabinet. Then he looked at me most intently, came much closer and whispered into my ear, "would you like to hold my jewels".

Exactly at that moment, my husband appeared and firmly took hold of them himself.

Your devoted friend,

Ethelfreda Jelleyman

My Roxellana scented candle has notes of Jasmine, Fig and Cassis. All candles are made from 100% soy wax, contain a minimum of 10% fragrance and are hand- poured at my workshop at Jelleymans Mill r in Worcestershire They are vegan and make an ideal gift idea. Each candle arrives beautifully packaged with the related story on fine aged paper.

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